Test Dept. was a highly influential electronic outfit which definitely helped create the still-thriving industrial genre. Their use of primitive drumming and monotonous waves of metallic noise meant that the group was unappreciated when the songs that comprise the compilation Ecstacy Under Duress were originally recorded (1982-1983). But listening to their work nowadays shows that the band was definitely on to something; they were just victims of the before-their-time jinx. The music is rabidly primal and earthy, which is quite an accomplishment since that's not what one usually associates with today's industrial rock. Since all of the songs are similar in approach and sound, it's impossible to pick out particular highlights; it sounds as if it's one long song broken up by flashes of silence. Still, fans of today's industrial sounds should really check out where it all originated.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato